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The Best New Travel Gear of 2016


Driverless cars, laundry-folding robots and smart business suits are just some of the next-generation tech on display at CES 2016. Here’s a preview of our favorite travel-friendly inventions you should be pre-ordering now.

SanDisk Xtreme 500 Portable SSD

From surf to snow—or just a rainy night in London—this portable, durable, and water-resistant 480 GB solid-state drive (SSD) can transfer pictures to and from your camera, tablet, or iPad about four times faster than traditional external hard drives, making it an ideal accessory for adventurers and street photographers who like to take a lot of pictures on the fly.

Samsung Notebook 9 13.3-inch

Lighter than Air (the MacBook Air), Samsung’s latest travel-friendly laptop weighs a mere 1.85 pounds. The battery lasts a full 12 hours, enough to power you from California to Cali, Colombia on a single charge (even so, you can recharge it back to life in as little as 90 minutes).


Traveling with a group of friends or your family? This pocket-friendly, two-ounce antenna, lets you use your cell phone to text other goTenna-equipped people up to four miles away, without the need for a cell phone signal or WiFi. It’s the perfect way to stay in touch with the people around you, whether you’re trekking the Amazon rainforest or wandering the streets of Tokyo.

Audio-Technica High-Res Earbuds

The average Spotify music file still doesn’t sound as good as plain old CDs, but High-Res audio restores and improves tracks to audiophile quality. And now you don’t need a pair of clunky premium headphones to enjoy it, thanks to these high-res-audio-optimized earbuds, which deliver high-end detail and punchy, low-end bass in a travel-friendly package.


Need to catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones? This soap-bar sized device lets you store more than 100 hours of DVR recordings and stream them to up to five smartphones, tablets, or laptops, and works even if you travel internationally (where HBO Go isn’t available).


It’s hard to find something new in the universal international charger space, but the modular MuSystem changes the game thanks to its swiveling plug section that folds neatly into a slimmed-down, pocket-ready body. It comes with four interchangeable plugs, each designed for use in the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Europe.

Casio WSD F10

As rugged as it is smart, this outdoor watch is not only waterproof to 50 meters and has a built-in compass, but it also runs the Android Wear OS, so you can get flight updates, text messages, translations, turn-by-turn directions and other travel features on your wrist. Just sync to your smartphone and hit the road.

Speck Pocket VR

Yes, virtual reality is here, and all you need to experience it is this solid portable viewer, which works with any Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR content, but folds back neatly into a flat, checkbook-sized shape when you want to stick it back in your carry on.

OlloClip Studio

Turn your iPhone 6/6S or 6/6S Plus into a versatile photography powerhouse with this package that combines a protective case with accessories such as a finger grip (for reducing shaky camera movements), a tripod mount, cold-shoe adapters (for lights or mics), and a kickstand (to mount on an airplane tray table while you watch or edit movies).

—Tom Samiljan

This article was originally published by under the headline 2016 Tech That Will Change the Way You Travel. It is reprinted here with permission.

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

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